Top 5 business books every leader should read in 2017

Happy professionals reading top books for entrepreneurs
By Lesley Stewart, CA Today

30 June 2017

Summer is fast approaching, which means you'll need some new reading material. We've pulled together a list of the five must-read titles we think have the potential to inspire you in 2017.

If you like your 'me-time' to come with a shot of glittering inspiration here are some top reads you might want to consider:

1. For entrepreneurs - The Lean Startup 

Book by Eric Ries

A New York Times and Amazon bestseller (and cult favourite amongst serious entrepreneurs) The Lean Startup isn’t so much a book as it is the bible for modern-day entrepreneurship.

The fundamentals of this business book have challenged how traditional businesses think about innovation, and inspired a generation of agile leaders. The premise: start small, keep testing your ideas, adjust, and most of all – expect to get it wrong along the way. But stay flexible enough to try and try again until it’s right.

Mandatory reading for anyone considering a startup, or business leaders looking to navigate their way through the digital economy with aplomb.

2. For sharp minds - The Economist

Print and digital subscription 

There’s a common misconception that The Economist only covers economics. It doesn’t. This established read prides itself on providing clear analysis of the issues that surround global news stories, whether business or finance, arts or technology.

This London based weekly can often be unconventional and quirky, and always publishes thought-provoking reporting of the week’s events. There’s some first-class journalism on show (and we’re very picky about that here at CA Today), intelligent reviews, and has an inherent call for critical thinking. What’s not to love? And as an added bonus through our partnership CAs can save 10% on the regular subscription price.

3. For business leaders - CA Today

Email and online

Of course, we had to include ourselves. But with good reason. Launched in 2015, the CA Today remit was simple: deliver top accountancy and business news to ICAS members and business professionals. And that hasn’t changed.

Fundamentally, we’d like to think our differentiating approach is in our enormous respect for our readers.

Whether it’s financial services news, business current affairs, or top career tips, our aim is to provide in-depth analysis of the issues that affect our members the most. All delivered straight to your inbox, and including our London and international communities. 

CA Today is led by what our readers want to see – so if you’re a CA and want to get involved we’d love to hear from you.

4. For a shift in mindset - Lean In 

Book by Sheryl Sandberg

This enormously influential business book encourages women to push past professional challenges (both external and self-imposed), and galvanised professional women across the globe to strive for leadership positions. Starting with a TED Talk in 2010 that would gain over 2 million viewers on YouTube, Lean In would quickly move away from being an inspirational talk to a global phenomenon.

The book has been subject to mighty criticism and sparked fierce debate about women and leadership. But criticisms notwithstanding, Lean In ignited much needed global conversations about gender inequality and encouraged a shift in boardroom mindset.

5. For achieving your dreams - Creativity Inc. 

Book by Edwin Catmull

Young leaders can’t go wrong with a recommendation from Mark Zuckerberg. Creativity Inc is the story of how Pixar was created from the ground-up, and is a perfect literary blend for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to combine creativity with hardnosed business skills.

Catmull describes the power struggles, risks, failures, and the various pitfalls that are part and parcel of running a business. But the moral of this story is overwhelmingly positive. At its heart this a manual for leaders who want to build an innovative culture, who strive for greatness, and want to inspire their employees to reach new heights.

What are your favourite business reads? What publications are your go-to for top business news? Tweet us or comment below to let us know your top inspirational reads for 2017! 

CAs can also find out more about the ICAS Masterminds Executive Coaching Programme, boosting your innovative thinking and accelerate your career growth.


  • Career development
  • Leadership and management

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